Thursday, December 14, 2017

Crystal Palace 0 Southampton 1: Roy Hodgson´s first game ends in defeat

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Sep 2017

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Roy Hodgson’s debut game in charge of Crystal Palace ended in defeat as Southampton won 1-0 at Selhurst Park.

Steven Davis’ goal in the sixth minute was enough to give the visitors the victory and inflict a fifth defeat in five on the Eagles.

The result also leaves them without a goal in 2017-18, meaning they have taken the longest of any top-flight team in England to score a goal, surpassing Newcastle United in 2005-06.

Hodgson was greeted with huge applause prior to kick-off, the former England boss having replaced Frank de Boer on a two-year deal this week, but the optimism quickly faded when Davis pounced on a rebound to open the scoring.

Palace, as they did in last week’s loss to Burnley, enjoyed plenty of possession and created good chances to equalise but were thwarted by two good saves from goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

The home side applied the pressure in the second half but Mauricio Pellegrino’s side were largely untroubled late on as they recorded their second win of the season and left Palace rooted to the bottom of the table.

Selhurst Park gave Hodgson a rapturous welcome ahead of kick-off but the home fans were soon silenced when Saints took the lead.

The ball was worked to Dusan Tadic inside the box and, when his drive across goal was parried by Wayne Hennessey, Davis was on hand to side-foot home the rebound from 12 yards.

Saints unsurprisingly looked the more confident but Palace twice nearly equalised before the half-hour mark, Christian Benteke denied by a point-blank block by Forster and Ruben Loftus-Cheek firing just wide of the left-hand post.

Andros Townsend flashed a half-volley narrowly over in first-half injury time and Palace stepped up the pressure after the break, with Forster making a fine save to deny Jason Puncheon after a Loftus-Cheek cross flew across the box.

Torrential rain began to fall as Palace committed more men forward, allowing Southampton the chance to exploit the slick surface on the counter-attack through Shane Long and Nathan Redmond.

Palace continued to press but belief seemed to ebb away from the players and the stands as Saints began to repel their attacks with relative ease, although Joel Ward did test Forster again with a header from a Yohan Cabaye cross.

The result means Palace have won only two of their last 17 meetings with Saints and could be six points adrift of safety if Leicester City beat Huddersfield Town later on Saturday.

Key Opta stats: 
– Crystal Palace are without a goal in 450 minutes this season, the longest ever run from the start of a Premier League campaign.
– Crystal Palace are the first side in English top-flight history to open the season with five defeats and no goals scored.
– The Eagles have failed to find the back of the net in six consecutive league games for the first since January 1995 (a run of nine), with three different managers taking charge during this run (Sam Allardyce, Frank de Boer and Roy Hodgson).
– Southampton have won four of their last five meetings with Crystal Palace in all competitions, losing the other.
– Steven Davis scored his first Premier League goal since 15th May 2016 – also against Crystal Palace 489 days ago.
 

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